July 27, 2016
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Baltimore, MD - The Baltimore Action Legal Team (BALT) is devastated to learn that the Baltimore State’s Attorney has dropped all of the remaining charges against the police officers who killed Freddie Gray.
“Freddie was walking down the street, doing nothing wrong, when he had the misfortune of meeting the gaze of Lt. Brian Rice. It should offend and terrify every resident of Baltimore that in 2016 the act of locking eyes with a white police officer cost Freddie his life.” said Iman Freeman of BALT. “On top of that, today we learned that no one will be held accountable for his murder.”
In announcing the decision, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said that Baltimore Police Department (BPD) displayed “consistent bias” at “every stage” of the investigation. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis continues to preside over a police department that is not doing enough to end police brutality. Today marks three months almost to the day since plain clothes police shot a 13-year-old child who was running away from police while holding a toy. BPD still has not released the results of its investigation into the shooting of a child or taken any action to punish the officer.
“BALT is committed to increasing the awareness of injustices rooted in structural racism and economic inequality. As residents of Baltimore, we must not simply decry the unfair results of an unjust system – we must demand and create a better system.” said Dorcas Gilmore of BALT.
While convictions for police who abuse and kill black and brown people with impunity are vital, the underlying legal structure requires drastic change in order to achieve the justice we seek. The tradition of stopping young black and brown people and searching them without probable cause is the practice that led to Freddie’s murder.
“If Ms. Mosby is serious about ending police brutality, she is in a unique position to do something,” said Freeman. “The State's Attorney's Office must be committed to engagement with community-led organizations that are addressing structural racism in the criminal justice system. The State's Attorney could end stop and frisk tonight if she wanted to - by refusing to prosecute people, like Freddie, who are harassed, targeted, and illegally stopped by the Baltimore City Police Department.“